Entertainment Television

Survivor’s Sandra Diaz-Twine: ‘That tribe swap is what screwed me’

By Samantha O'Connor, Special to Postmedia Network

Sandra Diaz-Twine (Handout)

Sandra Diaz-Twine (Handout)

It takes a certain amount of ego to play the game of Survivor, which is why over the years many players have given themselves a lot of hyperbolic titles. But when Sandra Diaz-Twine calls herself “queen,” she isn’t lying. No other player in the history of the game has managed to try to win the $1 million prize and has successfully done so twice.

When the 41-year-old North Carolina-based two-time winner came out to play again during the competitive Game Changers season, Sandra knew she was walking in with a major target on her back. And for the first time in 94 days, the social butterfly was ousted from the game thanks to a random tribe swap that threw off her flawless plans.

“That tribe swap is what screwed me, not them voting me out,” she said, following her first ever elimination episode this week. “If I hadn’t picked the wrong buff, then I wouldn’t be in this situation that I am right now.”

The hilarious office assistant used most of her days this time around building connections with the people on her tribe and successfully omitting her enemies from the game with ease. But after 16 days, her luck seemed to run out when host Jeff Probst made everyone drop their buffs and pick new tribes.

Her new Nuku tribe, who were obviously wary of Sandra’s social skills, kept their distance, which is why she was certain she was heading home when their new tribe lost the week’s immunity challenge.

“It was either I was going to go home or Tai [Trang] was going to go home. Regardless, I was prepared. I know I had gone to five out of six tribal councils yet my name hadn’t been written down. And they never let me build any relationships with any of them, which is what I do. It’s what I’m good at. So, they never let me get my foot in the door.”

But Sandra tried to prepare herself for a looming tribe swap, especially since she’s come to predict consistent twists.

“We kind of figured that we would have a tribe swap, because now it was getting boring. The same people are losing and the same people are winning,” she said. But Sandra remains confident that if she had landed on any other tribe, she could have pulled out a win for the third time.

“If this tribe swap would have went differently, I would have definitely made the merge and I’ll just say that my game was so good that my final three was already set up. It would have been a flawless game. I would have made it to day 39.”

Despite a loss under her belt, Sandra confides that if Survivor asked her to head out and play one more time, she’d be more than willing. After all, she is the queen.

“Once I got voted off, I was like, I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m not doing this anymore. I’m too old for this. But I would definitely consider going back if they asked me to. I don’t think I tarnished my record, because at the end of the day, I’m still the queen. I have two wins under my belt and nobody has that.”

Survivor: Game Changers airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Global and CBS.